Looking back and looking ahead

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January, as I have learned from the American Heritage Dictionary, is the month of the ancient Roman god Janus who is depicted as looking in opposite directions. While not exactly a relevant analogy, it is interesting to note that each January we look ahead by making resolutions but look back as well, so as to continue the good work and not repeat any of the mistakes made, consciously or unconsciously.

Making resolutions however, at times seems somewhat like a customary act, in addition to the fact that a fair number of us have trouble keeping them. So, to come out of the box, I have compiled some random thoughts, mostly garden-related, which have come to my mind and hope to work on them in the coming year. Though a few do sound trivial or redundant, but hopefully, are worth mentioning:    

  • To beat the winter blues, take time to step in the garden on one of those warm, sunny days. Explore bare spots to make tentative plans for spring planting. To avoid impulse buying however, study the microclimate of the location. Consider growing native plants suited for our area.
  • Make an attempt not to be a perfectionist, especially when it comes to weeds. I try to think of weeding as a reason to be outdoors, a much-needed physical activity. Speaking of which, it helps to remember one’s own limits and therefore not overdo physical work.
  • If in spite of best efforts, a plant dies, not to dwell over it. There is always a lesson learned from these incidences; among other factors, vigilance for pests and diseases helps avoid unnecessary heartache over such losses.
  • To keep the interest of gardening alive, grow at least one annual, perennial or bulb this coming season which is unusual or a newcomer to the garden. Browsing through mail-order catalogs that have begun to come is a great winter past time.
  • Invite fellow gardeners for tea and cookies and to share tips and tricks picked during the course of time. What better way to learn than by interacting with peers who share the same interest.  
  • Find time to relax: catch the sunrise, the first buds of spring unfold and leaves as they change their color in fall.

Let’s make 2012 an exciting gardening year!   

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